International guidelines ensure that all mobile devices and their base stations operate within strict radio frequency (RF) exposure limits set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). These guidelines have a substantial safety margin built into them and are the basis for ensuring our technology is safe.

As a responsible company, Vodafone fully complies with the international guidelines and requires its manufacturers and suppliers the same behaviour. All phones and devices sold by Vodafone; and all base stations operated by Vodafone, are designed to comply fully with ICNIRP guidelines.


SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) is the accepted international measure of exposure to electromagnetic fields, and the SAR value determined under standardised test conditions for a particular mobile is provided in the product safety information when it is bought. Many manufacturers also make this information available on their own website or the Mobile Manufacturers Forum website.

The International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines recommend a maximum SAR value of 2W/kg for a mobile. All mobiles operating below this level are considered safe to use.

Some countries have adopted slightly different SAR limits, that is why mobiles are tested to ensure compliance with the SAR limit for the countries where they are sold. Vodafone requires its manufacturers to test the amount of energy from a radio frequency (RF) field absorbed by the human body – the specific absorption rate (SAR) of mobile devices – when used against the ear or near the body.

The International Electrotechnical Commission(IEC) standard for testing mobile device use close to the body was published in April 2010, but has not yet been incorporated into EU Regulations. We have been actively advocating its adoption at a European level. Until this happens, we will continue to require testing using the FCC methodology.

Children and mobiles

All our phones and devices conform to international guidelines, which ensure protection for everyone.

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines are designed to protect the entire population, irrespective of a person’s age, and include a substantial safety margin.

Children use mobiles to study, stay in touch, for gaming and to go online. Some parents are concerned that their children’s health may be affected by their regular use. To help parents make an informed decision about their children’s mobile use, we provide information and advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and its linked organisations.

The majority of national and international scientific opinion, including from WHO, has concluded that the research undertaken to date shows no evidence of risks to human health.

“A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.” WHO October 2014

As young people today are likely to use mobile phones over a much longer period in their lifetime, WHO has made it a priority to carry out further research into this area. Studies into the use of mobiles by children and usage of more than 10 years are currently under way. Vodafone closely monitors the results of such research and the views of international bodies such as WHO.

WHO fact sheet

ICNIRP guidelines

Independent scientific research

Research programes

Vodafone is dedicated to developing scientific understanding of the effects of mobile devices and base stations on health by funding independent scientific research into the priority areas identified by the World Health Organization (WHO). We do this through national research programmes and funding organisations such as the second phase of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHR 2) in the UK, the German Mobile Telecommunication Research Programme (DMF II), and the GSM Association, to ensure the research is independent of industry influence. We also respond to requests for technical advice from researchers.

Since 2001, there have been a significant number of expert reviews of scientific research studies into mobiles, masts and health published by expert panels around the world. This page contains a summary of and links to reviews.

Expert reviews

Scientists and public health officials assess risks to human health based on the entire body of evidence, rather than individual scientific studies. The evidence is considered by panels of experts in this field. We look to such expert reviews for advice on mobile devices, masts and health. We only consider the opinion of panels commissioned by recognised national or international health agencies, for example, the World Health Organization (WHO), The Health Council of the Netherlands (HCN), The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) (formerly the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority - SSI) and The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA).

More information:


5G is designed to comply with existing international EMF exposure guidelines, providing protection for everyone against all established health hazards.

These guidelines are regularly reviewed and issued by independent public health authorities and expert groups including the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), and reflect decades of research.